Monday, September 26, 2016

Fourteen resolutions considered, recommendations made

IASB Delegate Assembly voting determines which
resolutions are to become official positions of the Association.
The IASB Delegate Assembly will gather on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Joint Annual Conference to debate resolutions submitted by member districts. If approved by the delegates in attendance, the resolutions will be adopted as official Position Statements of IASB.

Fourteen resolutions were submitted by local school boards to address concerns related to election dates, special education, and school finance reform, among other issues. The deadline for districts to submit resolutions was June 22.

The IASB resolutions committee, comprised of one member from each of the Association’s 21 divisions, heard testimony from the submitting districts on Aug. 5. Committee members debated the proposals and made recommendations to adopt or not adopt each measure.

The 2016 Resolutions Committee Report lists the suggested recommendations of the committee members and is being mailed this week to each member district. Providing a summary and the rationale of each resolution, the report is intended to assist districts when deciding how to vote at the Delegate Assembly.

Six new resolutions, four amendments to current positions, and four reaffirmations of position statements are summarized below and listed by subject, sponsoring district, and division. The committee’s recommendation is noted at the end of each summary. Click below to read the new resolutions, amendments, and reaffirmations.

New resolutions
  • Special needs students, Woodland CUSD 5, Streator (Corn Belt division) IASB shall support legislation that would not require school districts to be financially accountable for a student’s special education services beyond the student’s 19th birthday if the student has enough credits for graduation. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Student readiness, Arlington Heights THSD 214 (North Cook division) IASB endorses – and urges local school boards to adopt – the framework of research-based metrics and the multiple readiness indicators proposed in the national “Redefining Ready! Campaign” to better assess and demonstrate high school graduates’ readiness to succeed in college, career, and life; encourages official use of these metrics to meet state and federal accountability requirements. (Recommends do not adopt)
  • Clock hours vs. minutes of instruction, Genoa-Kingston CUSD 424 (Kishwaukee division) IASB shall research the impact and viability of moving the state from requiring days of student instruction to minutes of instruction as necessary to compensate for instruction time lost to school closures for disaster, flood, extreme weather conditions, evacuations, or other events beyond the district’s control. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Statement of affairs, Huntley CSD 158, Algonquin (Kishwaukee division) IASB supports legislation to allow a school district to publish any notice, agenda, record, or other information or materials required by law electronically instead of in a newspaper. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Family members as officers on a school board, Hoover-Schrum Memorial SD 157, Calumet City (South Cook division) IASB encourages the adoption of legislation to disqualify from service as an officer of a board of education, subject to appropriate narrow exception, any person who serves on that board with a family member. (Recommends do not adopt)
  • Special education support staff, Woodland CUSD 5, Streator (Corn Belt division) IASB will advocate for legislation allowing special education support staff assigned to individual students and deemed by a school district as necessary in the student’s education to be excluded from years-of-service termination clauses in collective bargaining agreements. (Recommends do not adopt) 

Amendments to current positions
  • Preschool programs, IASB Resolutions Committee; IASB supports full funding of early childhood programs operated by public schools as a priority with legislation to fully fund with providing new monies for both staffing and infrastructure costs associated with early childhood programs for such children as originally defined in PA 84-126, and further addressed in Public Act 94-0506 and Public Act 94-1054 preschool children, at-risk infants and toddlers and grants for parental training. (Recommends do adopt)
  • School finance reform, Woodland CUSD 5, Streator (Corn Belt division) The Illinois Association of School Boards shall adopt as a position statement the recommendations contained in the Report of the Finance Initiative Committee of the Illinois Association of School Boards which reads: “The State of Illinois, having the responsibility of defining requirements for elementary and secondary education, establishes that the primary purpose of schooling is the transmission of knowledge and culture through which children learn in areas necessary to their continuing development. Such areas include the language arts, mathematics, the biological, physical and social sciences, the fine arts and physical development and health. Each school district shall give priority in the allocation of resources, including funds, time allocation, personnel, and facilities to fulfilling the primary purpose of schooling.” (The School Code, 105 ILCS 5/27-1)
THE ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS BELIEVES that adequate funding must be provided for each student in order to guarantee the opportunity for an appropriate public education. Education funding should take into account the cost associated with delivering quality, research-based programming, geographic conditions, and student needs. Fully funding districts would ensure adequate funding for districts to locally determine and deliver appropriate and effective educational experiences to every student. An appropriate education is defined as an education that provides for all students educational opportunities that meet the goals for learning established by the state in the Education Reform Act of 1985 and local community expectations as expressed through local board policy.
IASB supports the need for transparency and dissemination of information, regarding the impact of proposed education funding reforms as they are developed, formally proposed, considered and enacted. Additionally, IASB will utilize the following criteria to evaluate proposals for school finance reform:
1) The state’s funding of public education should provide for a stable, reliable and predictable commitment of revenue.
2) State funding levels for public education should be a function of the actual cost of providing an appropriate education based on research, data, and current best practices.
3) Adequate funding should be sought through the addition of new state revenues for public education.
4) Any funding formula developed by the General Assembly shall place high priority upon achieving the goal of equity in providing financial resources to local school districts.
5) Increased state funding for public education should not reduce the access of school districts to the local property tax base.
6) In the distribution of state funds to local school districts:
a) funding differentials for various levels of schooling are appropriate only if based on verified costs; Amending Existing Positions Report to the Membership, 2016 11
b) consideration should be given to regional differences in the cost of providing an appropriate education;
c) the method of calculating the number of students  coming from disadvantaged backgrounds should be based on current, verifiable data;
d) size of school district is important only to the extent that a district provides an appropriate education.
7) A specified local tax effort should be required to qualify for state aid.
8) Authority for changing a district’s aggregate tax levy should be retained by the local board of education.
9) Taxing authority without referendum for unit districts in all funds should be equal to the sum of the taxing authority in dual districts.
10) Funding should not be tied to mandated training of local Boards of Education.

In order to obtain substantial new state revenues for funding
an appropriate education, the following considerations should
have an impact on any proposal for school finance reform:
a. A legitimate level and type of accountability will be needed.
b. The physical plant needs of Illinois’ school districts should
be addressed.
c. Taxpayer equity and relief, including uniform tax assessment
and procedures as well as tax relief for limited fixed income
and disabled citizens, should be provided. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Budget stability for school districts, Woodland CUSD 5, Streator (Corn Belt division) IASB shall support legislation requiring the Illinois General Assembly to determine the amount of funding for educational entitlements and General State Aid no later than March 31 (3 months prior to the start of the budget year) and enact a biennial budgetary cycle. Once the amount of funding for educational entitlements is determined, the General Assembly shall be required to vote on the funding in a stand-alone piece of legislation. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Polling places in schools, Indian Prairie CUSD 204, Naperville (DuPage Division) IASB shall support legislation that amends the Election Code to allow prohibit a school district to refuse to be used as a polling place during elections, for student safety reasons. If a school building is used as a polling place, the safety of the children and staff should not be compromised, and voters must be physically separated from students when the school is in session. (Recommends do adopt)

  • Charter school funding, Woodland CCSD 50, Gurnee (Lake division) IASB shall urge the adoption of legislation which would create a new methodology for the funding of state authorized charter schools which would not have a negative financial impact on the host district. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)/property tax base, Woodland CUSD 5, Streator (Corn Belt division) IASB shall oppose any reduction in a district’s access to local property tax revenue and shall oppose legislation that would erode the property tax base to educate children in the state of Illinois. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Prevailing Wage Act, O’Fallon CCSD 90 (Southwestern division) IASB shall work to repeal legislation that regulates wages of laborers, mechanics, and other workers employed by school districts and those under contract for work being done in school districts, or amend the Prevailing Wage Act to exempt school districts from its scope. (Recommends do adopt)
  • Local control, Woodland CUSD 5, Streator (Corn Belt division) IASB shall take all appropriate action to encourage members of the U.S. Congress and all other government officials and entities to refrain from introducing, supporting or promulgating rules, regulations, and legislation that deprive local school districts of decision-making powers on matter in which there is not a clear and compelling state or national interest. (Recommends do adopt)

In other resolutions committee action, IASB Position Statements 1.08 and 1.11 were amended to reflect a language change that replaces references to the federal No Child Left Behind Act with references to the recently approved Every Student Succeeds Act.

Besides voting on resolutions, delegates will be tasked this year with voting on modifications to the IASB Constitution as suggested by the Board of Directors, and on the elimination of outdated Position Statements that are no longer needed. The suggested changes are outlined in the Resolutions Committee Report, which is also available online at the IASB website.